Get inspired–and encouraged– by gorgeous Snyder garden with ups & downs

garden beds by fence and pool in Snyder NY
Garden beds line the picket fence that divides the pool area from the rest of the backyard at the home of Dan and Peggy Murak in Snyder. You can visit their landscape during the the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

When you visit Dan Murak’s gardens on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, you may think he’s got a green thumb and succeeds with every plant, all the time.

But starting in the front yard with the sick peach tree that he replaced last week, Murak is happy to tell you about the downs as well as the ups of his landscape.

You can visit his landscape this weekend on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, one of six garden walks to be held this weekend. See the details of all of this week’s garden walks at the end of this article. Don’t forget that Open Gardens take place this Thursday and Friday, too. Check out our Events page for even more gardening events.

tri-color beech in Snyder NY front yard
Dan Murak had this large ‘Tricolor’ beech installed just last week to replace a sickly peach tree. The pink and white flowers are annuals called Sunpatiens, which he uses widely in his landscape—he planted 240 of them. “They take sun and shade,” he said, “and the rabbits don’t touch them.” He had used marigolds to keep the rabbits away, but the rabbits ate the marigolds. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

When Dan and his wife Peggy moved in 30 years ago, the landscape had little more than yews. Now you can see lush beds in the front, back and even in narrow spaces along the driveway.

And things keep changing—sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. After trying to nurse his sick peach tree back to health, he gave up. He was able to find a large specimen of a ‘Tricolor’ beech with variegated leaves and had it installed just last week. However, to make room for the new tree, some large hydrangeas had to be removed. Murak may replant them and replace stones around the bed.

By the way, that is not a mulch volcano around the beech tree. The tree was carefully installed; they dug down to the clay, but not into the clay. Since water doesn’t drain well from clay, digging into the clay could leave the roots of the tree waterlogged. Instead, they built up the area. And the soil doesn’t touch the tree trunk.

lilies in narrow space along driveway in Snyder NY
This is a narrow space along the driveway, but there is enough room for Asiatic lilies and other plants. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
wind sculpture in Snyder backyard
Several planters in the shape of heads are used in the garden beds throughout the backyard. On the steps at left is a ‘Lakemont’ grape vine. Murak ordered it in autumn, but it arrived in January when the ground was frozen. He planted it in a pot and it’s doing well. He will transplant it next to the arbor by the pool. Right of center is a wind sculpture by Lyman Whitaker, who made the wind sculptures at Wilkeson Pointe along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
seating area in backyard in Snyder NY
This is one of several seating areas in the backyard. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Garden walks Friday to Sunday, July 9 to 11

Lockport in Bloom

Lockport in Bloom will hold daytime tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, July 10 & 11. Pick up maps at 623 Locust St., Lockport.

A twilight tour will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 9.

Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk & Fair

Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk & Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11.

Pick up maps at Memorial Park bandstand, Lake & Union Streets, Hamburg.

Town of Amherst Garden Walk

The Town of Amherst Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 10.

Maps will be available a week before the event at local garden centers and on Facebook.

North Tonawanda Garden Walk

The North Tonawanda Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11.

Maps will be available at the Carnegie Art Center, 240 Goundry St., North Tonawanda.

Grand Island Garden Walk

Grand Island Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 11.

Pick up maps at Town Commons Gazebo, Whitehaven and Baseline Roads, Grand Island.

You’ll find a variety of garden sizes and styles. Visit hosta collectors, cottage gardens, shade gardens, extensive perennial gardens, and one of Grand Island’s original farms with its pollinator meadow.

Snyder-CleveHill Garden View

Snyder-CleveHill Garden View will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 11.

Pick up maps at Trillium’s Courtyard Florist, 2195 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

A donation of $2 is appreciated, but not required; tour is self-guided.

This 18th-annual tour includes 24 private gardens and carefully tended public spaces in the neighborhoods of Snyder and Cleveland Hill. Gardens of all shapes, types, and sizes are set against a backdrop of 1910 to 1950 architecture. Many garden styles and plant types are represented, as are water features and garden structures.

2 Comments on “Get inspired–and encouraged– by gorgeous Snyder garden with ups & downs

  1. The Town of Amherst Garden Walk is on both Saturday AND Sunday this year. There are a few gardens that aren’t open on Sunday but most are.

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